The Most Famous Prima Ballerina, Ranked

Choose the Prima Ballerina you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jun 6, 2024 07:53
Selecting the most celebrated Prima Ballerina often sparks lively discussions among ballet enthusiasts. Each dancer brings a unique flair and mastery to the stage, captivating audiences and critics alike. Determining who stands out in this elite category provides valuable insights into the evolving dynamics and preferences in the world of ballet. By casting your vote, you contribute to a living snapshot of who is resonating most with fans today. This process not only highlights current trends in ballet appreciation but also connects a community of like-minded aficionados. Your participation ensures that the ranking accurately reflects the collective admiration and respect for these accomplished dancers.

Who Is the Most Famous Prima Ballerina?

  1. 2

    Margot Fonteyn

    An English prima ballerina, best known for her partnership with Rudolf Nureyev.
    • Born: May 18, 1919
    • Died: February 21, 1991
  2. 3

    Maya Plisetskaya

    A Soviet-born prima ballerina, known for her dramatic interpretation and powerful stage presence.
    • Born: November 20, 1925
    • Died: May 2, 2015
  3. 4

    Natalia Makarova

    A Russian-American prima ballerina noted for her roles in Giselle and Swan Lake.
    • Born: November 21, 1940
  4. 5

    Misty Copeland

    An American prima ballerina who became the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in American Ballet Theatre's 75-year history.
    • Born: September 10, 1982
  5. 6

    Sylvie Guillem

    A French prima ballerina known for her technical prowess and unique artistry.
    • Born: February 23, 1965
  6. 7

    Alicia Alonso

    A Cuban prima ballerina and choreographer, founder of the Cuban National Ballet.
    • Born: December 21, 1920
    • Died: October 17, 2019
  7. 8

    Ekaterina Maximova

    A celebrated Soviet and Russian prima ballerina, known for her work with the Bolshoi Ballet.
    • Born: February 1, 1939
    • Died: April 28, 2009
  8. 9

    Galina Ulanova

    A legendary Soviet prima ballerina, famous for her roles in Romeo and Juliet and Giselle.
    • Born: January 8, 1910
    • Died: March 21, 1998
  9. 10

    Margarita Mamun

    A Russian prima ballerina known for her performances with the Bolshoi Ballet.
    • Born: November 1, 1995

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous Prima Ballerina. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Ballerina is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 143 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Ballerina once every 24 hours. The rank of each Ballerina is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


Additional Information

More about the Most Famous Prima Ballerina

Anna Pavlova
Rank #1 for the most famous Prima Ballerina: Anna Pavlova (Source)
Ballet has a long history. It began in the courts of Italy and France in the 15th and 16th centuries. Over time, it evolved. The role of the prima ballerina emerged. This role is the highest honor for a female ballet dancer. It signifies the lead female dancer in a company.

The path to becoming a prima ballerina is not easy. It starts with rigorous training. Young dancers often begin their lessons as early as age three or four. They spend countless hours perfecting their technique. They must master balance, flexibility, and strength. They also need to convey emotion through their movements.

Ballet schools are found worldwide. These institutions are crucial in shaping future stars. Students learn the fundamentals of ballet. They also study character dance, contemporary dance, and sometimes even acting. The competition is fierce. Many aspire to become the next prima ballerina, but few achieve this status.

A prima ballerina must possess exceptional talent. She must have a strong stage presence and the ability to captivate audiences. Her technique must be flawless. She should perform the most challenging roles with grace and ease. These roles often include the lead in classical ballets. Examples are "Swan Lake," "The Nutcracker," and "Giselle."

The journey to the top involves many performances. Dancers start in smaller roles. They gradually take on more significant parts. They must prove themselves to directors, choreographers, and audiences. They must also maintain their physical condition. Injuries can be a significant setback.

A prima ballerina's career is often short. The physical demands of ballet can take a toll on the body. Many retire in their 30s or 40s. Despite this, their influence lasts. They inspire future generations of dancers. They leave a legacy through their performances and contributions to the art form.

Ballet companies play a vital role in a dancer's career. These organizations provide the platform for dancers to showcase their talent. They produce ballets and tour internationally. They also foster the development of young dancers. A prima ballerina often becomes the face of her company. Her performances draw audiences and elevate the company's reputation.

The life of a prima ballerina is not just about dance. It involves dedication, discipline, and sacrifice. They often spend long hours in rehearsals. They must maintain a strict diet and fitness regimen. They also need to balance their personal lives with their demanding careers.

Despite the challenges, the rewards are immense. Prima ballerinas receive accolades and recognition. They have the opportunity to travel the world. They perform on some of the most prestigious stages. They also have the chance to work with renowned choreographers and directors.

The legacy of a prima ballerina extends beyond her performances. Many continue to contribute to ballet after retiring. They become teachers, coaches, or artistic directors. They pass on their knowledge and experience to the next generation. Their impact on the world of ballet is profound and lasting.

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